The Sunlight foundation a Congressional watchdog group, has uploaded earmark requests from the Stupak 11 that suggest they may have received earmarks to sell out their pro-life position and vote ‘yes’ on healthcare. Without these votes, Healthcare reform would have been defeated. If they indeed make a deal and voted against their pro-life supporters the Stupak 11 may be in some serious trouble for re-election. Bart Stupak stated that he changed his vote solely on the provision that President Obama would sign an executive order that stated no federal funds would be used to provide for Abortions.
Sunlight Foundation puts it this way:
A day after Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and ten other House members compromised on their pro-life position to deliver the necessary yes-votes to pass health care reform, the “Stupak 11” released their fiscal year 2011 earmark requests, which total more than $3.4 billion–an average of $314 million worth of earmark requests for each lawmaker. *
Of the eight lawmakers whose 2010 requests were available for comparison, five requested more money this week than they did a year ago: Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa., Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., and Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Ohio.
The eleven members were the focus of high level pressure by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats because they threatened to vote against the health care reform bill, which passed the House on Sunday, March 21, by a seven vote margin. Granting earmark requests are one of the ways leadership can encourage members to vote their way.
Stupak requested more than $578 million in earmarks, including $125 million for a replacement lock on the Sault Ste. Marie, $25.6 million to build a federal courthouse in Marquette, Mich., $15 million to repaint the Mackinac Bridge and $800,000 to preserve the Quincy Mining Company smelter near Hancock in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.